Cop Watching Portland South Park Blocks 9.9.10
(The following description I posted on Portland Indymedia)
Run time 14 minutes 29 secondsProducer Joe AnybodyAudio/Visual sound, color
First I noticed the 2 bike security patrol officers, there in the south park blocks around noon (waiting for... -->) then 2 Portland cops on bikes show up..... to write a couple tickets.
A "30 day banned from the park" (sic)citation is issued as well.
[video is 14 minutes long posted on Archive.org]
In this 15 minute video there is "not a lot of drama" or excitement.
Just 2 cops and 2 security patrols standing around ticketing some homeless(?)-(forgive me for assuming) folks.
The charge.... for (assumed) drinking (?) in the park. (I seen no drinking nor containers as I filmed)
The sick irony is that this park is ***surround with alcohol drinking fancy places****** for the rich and middle class to use
Fifty feet away across the street people sit along the sidewalk and drink wine at an expensive restaurant!
YET a poor person in the park is treated as "the town criminal" if they have any kind of an alcoholic drink?
Then for them to be banned for 30 days is a civil rights issue and in my opinion, and is illegal, and shameful, not to mention a BIG WASTE of the cities money enforcing this non criminal act on poor people primarily.
The points of why I filmed (this) the police are:
1) to document what the police are doing in our community and "how they are doing it"
2) to openly and honestly record the interaction as a witness for the truth and to preserve justice through independent media as to not be manipulated by the corporate media and or official untruthful reports that over ride citizens own words
3) to provide a back up report on truly what happened in a media-format for legal proof
4) to let the police know that the community is "watching them" and that they are "public servants working for the communities interests and safety"
5) to provide a legally available witness to any inappropriate behavior, human rights violations, civil rights violations, inappropriate attitude, or violent attacks on any citizen around me by a police officer or any city government agent, especially on marginalized or minority communities or political activists.
6) to openly let the public know how the police treat people (good or bad the video will record how they interacted with the citizens) as well as to let the city officials see and the appropriate agency oversight committees see as well.
7) to inadvertently help the police, in which by openly filming them, they get to realize that they MUST be accountable to their community and their sworn oaths
8) to provide "police oversight by citizens" due to the pathetic lack of concern by (the) police management and their own department to do this, and especially their union show of blatant disrespect for the rights of the people in this community as well as the continuing battle to correct this "lack of oversight" that the city (does not sufficiently provide) but continues to allow through the years and tolerates to especially but not specifically; not correct rouge cops (behaviors) or discipline / fire the ones that operate "outside" of the communities interest and harm or kill community members.
The facts that police are allowed to act not in the community’s interest, use excessive force, kill, tazer, pepper-spray and all with “full impunity” and no “oversight from within their own rank” is a sham and cover-up tragedy in and by itself.
By filming it becomes a legal document for "real" justice and to hold the police accountable, when need be or when questioned, from a citizens and community position as well as over sight committees and legal inquiries by civil rights and human rights commissions
This 14 minute video is not full of action. But that doesn’t make it unimportant.
Less action is better when it comes to involvement with the police.
By posting this I want to also show ... that "you can film the police".
And how (one of the ways) that it can be done.
First Big Rule stay out of their way, do not interfere with what they are doing.
Keep (leave) the camera always "turned on" (hence extra batteries and tape is required)
Stay till the end of the engagement.
If anything starts to get "inappropriate" then for sure get the badge numbers or names and witness accounts
I have seen over and over and over ...police behavior, attitudes, respect change the moment they see a camera filming them!
And truthfully I like the way they treat people better when they are being filmed.
As you can see ... filming somewhat irritates them and they would prefer "you leave" or turn your camera away from them.
But don’t be intimidated, don’t stop filming. Maybe step one step back if they are obviously fixating on you filming to deescalate the tension so you can continue filming the original interaction.
As you may of seen in other videos...they sometimes get downright PISSED....so be on high alert.
I have had my camera taken away by a cop in 2008...(returned within hours) wherein I then filed a lawsuit which we all (the city, police, DA and my lawyer) came to the agreement you can film the cops and they now "train their officers to recognize this right" ;-)
The less you become involved in their "operation at hand" the better.
(You be the observer / press / witness)
The (my) camera was turned on when I approached (in advanced, in my hand, out in the open)
When I film …I don’t want to be “in the issue at hand” but involved in so much as "I’m just documenting and witnessing" and I am JUST watching closely this “issue at hand”
On a side note.
I have seen many, many cops, act professional, smile, be polite, and treat people of their communities with respect. Which I do like.
But those videos scenes I am really not out to promote nor am too concerned about that aspect, I do appreciate the civil behavior don’t get me wrong. But in the same breath I shouldn’t think that to treat people with civility and respect needs any special "thanks".
It should be “a given” and is to be "expected"
I walk by many cops who I don’t need to film.
And I don’t “hate the cops” …I do question their whole role in our society and what exactly are they protecting?
I see the need for safety and the need to have a society where we can call on someone to help protect oneself when its needed.
What angers and motivates me is that in today world especially in my city, we see the rampant abuse by the very people “who we are suppose to call”. The police abuse protesters rights with sprays and bodily force, mentally challenged people are arrested and killed, folks from immigrant backgrounds, color and race see stereotyping, and worst of all the marginalized and CONTINUED harassment of houseless people.
The fact that the police and our city officials would harass and hassle the poorest people in the city is deplorable.
I will film every interaction I see between the police and city agents when they are targeting the houseless or poor. As well as filming for citizen when they are being restricted, ticketed, or violated of their unalienable rights, be it civil rights or human rights.
I am ashamed of the attitude of our police agency (and city’s tolerance and acceptance of it) to the on going problems being targeted and created towards the most marginalized folks on earth who have the least if nothing at all.
The police should have nothing to worry about if they see me or anyone filming them, unless they are up to no good.
Then the whole world will be watching. ((( i )))
Two groups in the Portland area that I know that are activly involved in "copwatching" are:
"Portland Copwatch" is a local group here in Portland --> http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/
Another is "Rosecity Copwatch" --> http://rosecitycopwatch.wordpress.com/